Afghan Families Begin Arriving In The Tri-Cities

By Dori Luzzo Gilmour

The Afghan resettlement has begun in Washington. The Islamic Center of the Tri-Cities is helping families to settle in the area.

One of the first families here is a young couple with a two-year-old child. They traveled nearly seven thousand miles to arrive at Pasco airport. Sabiha Khan with the Islamic Center was there to greet them.

“So the last family that came, they each had a small duffle bag,” Khan said “I was really surprised that this is their entire life’s belongings…was provided to them in Texas, where they were in quarantine for ten days…before they came here, so they are coming with absolutely nothing.”

Khan explained that in the last 20 years they have never experienced such great support from the entire community to welcome the new refugees. One West Richland resident contacted Khan. 

“So she’s at the end of life, and her wish is…is to donate all her belongings to the Afghan refugees,” said Khan.

The Islamic Center is collecting items for the refugees and is looking for donations from their Facebook page. The most wanted items include Instapots, cell phones and televisions. Interpretation services are also vital.